Geotechnical Engineering and Asset Management 

Birmingham’s Geotechnical Engineering research group is a comprehensive team which works closely with Industry to produce unique, world-class knowledge in foundations, soils and geology-related subject. In the railway sector, the group has been involved in research to understand the dynamic load-deformation response and track/sub-base interactions; the design of new and replacement track systems; the development of remediation and maintenance strategies; assessment of track system performance; and the optimisation of whole life and whole system costs.

Current and recent projects:

Network Rail

We are conducting research Network Rail concerning drainage and track stiffness which will result in improved track behaviour. As an example of this, we are conducting a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) on migration of fine particles in the track system.

Rail Research UK Association

Recent projects have included a study on appraising track/sub-base design using modern geotechnical principles; and the interactions between the ground, track and train systems.

Modelling projects

A recent PhD project has modelled the track-vehicle interaction and made predictions on the effect of ground improvements on the performance of the track system. Following this project, a 6-month consultancy project will focus on the practical implementation of some of the research findings.

Asset Management

Multi-disciplinary projects, involving the Schools of Civil, Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Recent projects have included development of a decision-support system for the maintenance of plain line track and a maintenance management tool for light railway systems.